The Swedish government has decided to raise the subsistence requirement for labour migrants, indicating that a labour migrant has to generate an income of at least 80 per cent of the average salary in the country, with the change in law and regulation becoming effective on November 1.
According to a press release by the Swedish Justice Ministry, the new measure aims to reduce low-skilled labour immigration and combat fraud as well as abuse linked to labour immigration. The authorities believe that in many cases, low-skilled labour immigration could be performed by people who already live in the country.
– A properly raised subsistence requirement is an important step in the government’s work to tighten the conditions for labour immigration. The level aims to reduce fraud and exploitation linked to labour immigration and to ensure that more people who are already in Sweden take the jobs that are available.
More specifically, labour immigrants will have to make around €2,900 to be eligible for a work permit, considering that the average wage in Sweden for July was €3,614, with this amount varying based on the occupation.
While the Swedish Transport Administration has the highest average salary in the country – €4,027, treatment of offenders make the lowest average salary across all sectors – around €2,900, which will be equivalent to the amount that labour immigrants will have to make in order to get a work permit.
However, workers in Sweden have some of the lowest average working hours per week in Europe, as a recent report by Eurostat reveals that Swedish workers serve 38.9 hours per week. Compared to the Netherlands which has an average of 33.2 hours per week, Swedish working hours are longer, but compared to Greece, where workers have to work around 41 hours in a week, on average, Sweden stands in the middle.
Compared to the other countries in the region, the average working hours in Sweden are higher, as Norwegian workers serve 35.5 hours in a week, Danish workers around 35.4 while those in Finland serve around 36.2 hours.
Last year, the Swedish Parliament or Riksdag approved the bill, leading to the Aliens Act being changed so that labour immigrants will have to achieve sufficient income through their employment in order to obtain a work permit.
The regulation modification means that the requirement for a stable financial state has been specified and that proposals do not affect labour immigrants from the EU, and neither do the third-country nationals working seasonally in the country. The decision is based on an agreement between the Sweden Democrats, the Moderates, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals.